Recipes Courtesy of: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home / Artisan Books
By: Jeni Britton Bauer

Sour Beer Sorbets

Lambics, or “sour beers,” are bitter, spontaneously fermented Belgian ales often flavored with fruits. I’ve been making fruit and lambic sorbets and ice creams for years, but a couple of years ago chef Jonathon Sawyer at the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland gave me my first sip of American craft sour beer, which I fell in love with instantly. And recently, I’ve been making an amazingly refreshing sorbet with apricots and a fragrant, organic golden ale brewed by Matthew Barbee at Rockmill Brewery in Lancaster, Ohio, just a few miles southeast of my kitchen.

Sorbets require a lot of sugar to remain supple when frozen, so they easily can get too sweet. However, when you add good-quality ale you balance that sweetness with the bitterness of the hops. Also, the natural sugar content of the alcohol means you won’t have to add as much sugar as you would in a regular sorbet recipe.

This recipe will make Cherry Lambic Sorbet, Black Plum & Black Currant Lambic Sorbet, Peach Lambic Sorbet, or any combination you like.

Makes a generous 1 quart

1 pound fresh stone fruit (cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, etc.)
¾ cup sugar
⅓ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup lambic beer, chilled

Peel peaches or apricots, if using. Remove the stones from the fruit and puree in a food processor until smooth.

Combine the pureed fruit, sugar, and corn syrup in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat immediately and put in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

Strain through a sieve into a bowl, if desired. Add the beer and chill thoroughly.

Pour the sorbet base into the frozen canister and spin just until it is the consistency of very softly whipped cream.

Pack the sorbet into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Sorbet Suggestions:

Cherry Lambic Sorbet
Tart real cherry flavor to start, sweet lambic on the midpalate and an almost bubbly texture. The finish is clean and exhilarating.

Peach Lambic Sorbet
Juicy and sweet, with ripe peaches and a punch of refreshing peach lambic.

Black Plum & Black Currant Lambic Sorbet
Sparkling, Tastes like plum skins and bursting black currants.

Kona Stout Ice Cream

Use the darkest beer you can find. A dark stout packs a lot of flavor without adding too much water to the ice cream, so it stays creamy and flavorful. We use two stars of the Columbus brewing world, Russian Imperial Stout from Barley’s Alehouse and Kona coffee from Stauf’s Coffee Roasters. Barley’s is right across the parking lot from the North Market, and I’ve used its brews since my earliest days in ice cream experimentation.

I grew up with Stauf’s coffee, and I use their Kona because it’s my favorite to drink. But you can use whichever coffee you like. Just remember that the darker the roast the richer the flavor, so you may need to account for that when you decide how much coffee to use in the recipe.

We make this flavor each year at Father’s Day and continue all summer long. It’s a great hot-weather treat, bitter and as refreshing as a cold beer or an iced coffee. My Kitchen notes say, “Off-the-hook good.” I think you’ll agree.

Pairs well with: Chocolate cake. Blackstrap-molasses gingerbread. Whiskey. Your dad.

Makes about 1 quart

2 ⅔ cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons dark-roast Kona coffee beans, coarsely ground
⅔ cup Barley’s Russian Imperial Stout or other very dark stout

Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the coffee, and let steep for 5 minutes.

Strain the milk mixture through a sieve lined with a layer of cheesecloth. Squeeze the coffee in the cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible, then discard the grounds.

Return the cream mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the stout and blend well.

Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.

Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.